The High Court on Monday, June 6, handed Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko a lifeline in his Mombasa county gubernatorial bid.
This is after it suspended a decision by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to disqualify Sonko from the race to succeed incumbent Hassan Ali Joho.
The court ordered that the commission hold its decision pending the determination of a case filed challenging IEBC’s directive.
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati had indicated that any impeached candidate would not be allowed to contest for election – even in cases where such impeachments have been challenged
However, Sonko, in his petition, accused Chebukati of malice, arguing that his impeachment had not been confirmed.
Quoting Articles 99 (3) and 193(3) of the constitution, the former Nairobi Governor opined that he had not fully exhausted the process of appealing his impeachment.
“A person is not disqualified under clause (2) unless all possibility of appeal or review of the relevant sentence or decision has been exhausted,” reads a section of the aforementioned clauses.
He also provided evidence of his appeal challenging a ruling by the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court dated April 1, which was served to the Nairobi County Assembly and 11 other respondents.
Sonko had filed a petition challenging the electoral body’s move to bar him from running for office, terming it unlawful and unprocedural.
On June 2, Chief Justice Martha Koome picked a three-judge bench to hear and determine a case seeking to bar aspirants with integrity concerns from vying in the August 9 General Elections.
The commission will constitute Justice David Majanja as the presiding judge and Justices Chacha Mwita and Mugure Thande.
A ruling by the plenary will dictate whether or not Sonko or ousted Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waitituwould be eligible to contest for any elective seat in the upcoming poll.